I am pretty pumped about this year. We will be seeing a slew of new innovative and evolutionary concepts coming to fruition this year in the MMO market. Truly new games with fresh concepts means a better experience for myself and fellow gamers. Here’s a quick rundown of the top MMO games scheduled to release in 2012 and why you should be excited about them:
Team based, real time combat, shooter MMO with strong cooperative and competitive PvP elements. It’s sadly lacking open world PvP so don’t expect PlanetSide. It will offer competitive gameplay between clans and a slew of awesome cooperative content. Teamwork will be involve than healbots and taunts and should offer refreshing action-oriented gameplay. Oh, and the founder of developer was a team lead for the original World of Warcraft.
Guild Wars 2 is bringing a new acronym to PvP: WvWvW. So many letters…WvWvW stands for World vs World vs World. You see, players are essentially divided into their own servers and will fight massive battles against other servers for supremacy and other rewards. Guild Wars 2 will also offer competitive, small team arena PvP. Guild Wars 2 is providing the coolest PvE content imaginable: dynamic events. Dragons will randomly spawn and possibly DESTROY local villages unless enough heroes gather around to stop them. There’s still plenty of things to collect too, but in every aspect Guild Wars 2 raises the stakes quite a bit higher. Without a monthly fee.
Basically you take World of Warcraft and you add real life reflexes to the mix. This is a fantasy MMORPG where you will level up, find loot, and do so while outmaneuvering your enemies, dodging their attacks, and hitting with precise movements rather than hotkeys. There is no limited faction based combat here. In it’s place is a free for all political system of sorts. Anyone can rise to power but in a game like TERA, quality of followers might matter more than quantity.
Salem is planning on being the most realistic, immersive MMORPG since….ever. Just to make sure I don’t excite you for no reason; this game has permadeath. As in when you die there is no corpse run. You simply lose your character. If you said ‘No corpse run? Genius!’ then there is still hope. In addition to the ultimate ‘your decision matters’ feature there is also open PvP where players must police themselves, mysterious magic that allows limited players to learn witchcraft, and a top notch crafting system which will rely on players to create items and buildings. MMORPG.com wrote a preview on it recently. If the Salem developers can deliver this is going to be much more than a game, it’s going to be an experience that is Legen- wait for it. Dary!
The Secret World is about three secret societies waging war on each in large realm vs. realm settings. The keyword is ‘three’. Where games like World of Warcraft, Warhammer Online, and The Old Republic failed in faction based PvP is that with two sides one will always be better. You will never have balanced long term battles unless you queue for instances that don’t affect the overall world. The Secret World fixes that by adding a third faction, something that worked very well for Dark Age of Camelot a decade ago. Secret World also has skill based leveling which is typically reserved for more sandbox games, which this probably won’t be. Further working for it is that Funcom has developed two MMORPGs before. Working against it is that Funcom has had two of the worst MMORPG launches in history. Time will tell if I will find a home within the Illuminati.
Of these five games, I predict three successes for what they are setting out to accomplish. A MMORPG like Salem isn’t out to conquer WoW, but if done well, could easily find a strong and loyal niche like that in Eve Online. I’m happy to see some innovation and strong evolution in 2012. It’s been a while since something set out to change the genre and actually succeeded. We are rarely treated to more than one MMORPG with long term potential, but this year will be different. This is going to be a year full of tough decisions and lack of sleep for many MMO enthusiasts.